Current Anthropological Research: Anthropology of Displacement

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course gives a comprehensive introduction to a specific area of contemporary anthropological investigation. Current research trends and recent theoretical developments are explored through critical discussions with emphasis on anthropology's evolving engagement with the selected field. The course offers a unique opportunity to be acquainted with diverse aspects - methodological, epistemological and theoretical - of the research process, aspects that lie at the very basis of anthropological analysis and practice, and of ethnographic production.

Theme Autumn 2023

"Displacement," in popular and academic accounts alike, is widely associated with refugees and the act of fleeing one's home owing to violence. This course, however, suggests that dis-place-ment conveys much more widely human experiences. These include the meaning of place; home, safety, and belonging; the search for roots and origins; and how experiences of rupture impact people's capacities to thrive.

Anthropological work, with its focus on lived experience, provides a particularly powerful entry point from which to explore nuances of how people do (and do not) belong. The course will introduce students to key theoretical and ethnographic approaches to the study of place and what it means to be dis-placed. Topics explored will include, among others: nations and nationhood; borders governance and border crossing; law and illegality; place and place-making; displacement in place; and what it means to build flourish lives and communities in times of social and economic crisis.  

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence.

The student will be able to:


  • provide an overview of the topic addressed in the course, with particular reference to its history and associated theoretical and methodological debates in social anthropology


  • explain the current state-of-art of research in the field of study addressed in the course
  • explain the various methodological and theoretical considerations that must be taken in order to further develop the field of study

General competence

  • apply key concepts and perspectives from the course and its field of study independently, in the understanding and analysis of local and global processes
  • apply an understanding of the correlation and difference between empirical data, theory and analysis in text production

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Introductory courses in Social Anthropology
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Open to students at the University of Bergen
Teaching and learning methods

Lectures/seminars. May also include field trip and/or presentations

2-4 hours per week 5-10 weeks, 12-16 hours in total

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Forms of Assessment

8 hours school exam

The exam will be given in the language in which the course is taught.
The exam can be submitted in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Grading Scale
Grading A-F
Assessment Semester
Assessment in in teaching semester. Students who have a valid document of absence or fails the exam may take a new exam in the following semester.
Reading List
The reading list will be ready before 1 July for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.
Course Evaluation
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses
Course Administrator
Department of Social Anthropology at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.